Do you suffer from low testosterone? If you’re a man living in the 21st century there’s a good chance you do.
It’s what makes a man a man and a woman attracted to a man. It keeps your sex drive and function high, increases ability to build and retain muscle mass, makes it easier to stay lean, increases energy, and will even aid in battling depression. As a man, keeping testosterone levels on the higher scale is essential to health and well being.
The sad truth about testosterone however, is that this powerful hormone that makes you more of what you are has been on the decline for years now. We’re living in a day and age where men have less testosterone than their fathers, and even less that their grandfathers. Generation after generation, levels are steadily dropping.
Think about it for a sec. As men (or even as humans for that matter), we we born to be warriors. We were meant to hunt for our food, keep our families safe from danger, and spend most of our time outdoors being active and soaking up some sunshine.
But look what we’ve become.
We’ve become a generation of men who are afraid to stand up for our beliefs, slaving away in offices and factories if we do care to have a job, we’re glued to cell phones like our lives depend on it, overweight, and weak. Rather than healthy home-cooked meals we opt for fast food, and if we are trying to be healthier and cook at home our meat is loaded with hormones and antibiotics, and our fruits and veggies are all sprayed with pesticides if we don’t eat grassfed and organic. It’s no wonder we’re so much less manly than our hard working forefathers.
Some signs and symptoms of low T:
- Loss of muscle mass
- Easily gaining body fat
- Low sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- No energy or motivation
Those are only a few signs of low testosterone but I’m sure most guys can relate to at least one. So what can we do?
Talking with a doctor about testosterone replacement therapy is always an option. They’ll regulate your testosterone through medicine, getting you back up to optimum functioning levels.
The only problem with this is you’ll become dependent on medicine, and probably be stuck on it for the rest of your life.
Another option is to make some lifestyle changes! It won’t happen overnight but a few simple changes to your workouts, diet, and stress management can get you headed Back in the right direction. So before hopping on drugs I’d try to do it all naturally and see what happens. Worked for me when my testosterone levels were down and out and I was suffering from the symptoms above 😉
*Note: I’m no doctor or medical expert, just a guy who’s into health and fitness sharing experiences. So anything published on SweetMachineFitness.com is not meant to be taken as medical advice or a substitute for it. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before making any changes to lifestyle in regards to health, fitness, eating, or supplementation.*
1. Get your sleep
Showing signs of low testosterone? Getting a good night’s sleep on a consistent basis may be the most crucial component in a good natural testosterone boosting plan. It’s so important, that when I talked to my doctor about symptoms of low T he wouldn’t even call in blood work unless I was getting quality sleep every night.
And for good reason too. Study after study has shown that men who sleep less have much less testosterone than guys who do. Even up to 60 percent less in some cases!! Yes men you read that right. 60 percent less. That means there are guys out there only living up to half of their potential simply because they aren’t getting the rest they need. Get your shut eye! Your manhood depends on it.
The amount of sleep necessary for a boost in the big T varies between the individual. Generally 7-9 hours should be sufficient for a nice boost in Testosterone, as well as waking up feeling refreshed, de-stressed, and ready to take on the world. Around 7 hours is where I personally feel my best, anymore than that and I’m feeling tired and lazy for the rest of the day.
Some tips for a good night’s rest:
- Sleep in a cool dark room.
- Go to bed earlier, and wake up with the sun.
- Avoid using electronics a couple hours before bed. Your tv, computer, and phone all give off blue light which actually keeps you awake when your body and brain are ready to wind down.
- Cut out all caffeine after noon.
- Ashwagandha and magnesium will both aid in getting a good night’s rest, along with a good boost in testosterone, and are natural stress relievers.
2. Eat like the man you are
What you’re eating on a regular basis will also have a pretty substantial effect on your test levels. Luckily, diet is something that’s easy to control just so long as you have the drive and dedication to stick with it.
Just like eating for general health and fitness, eating for testosterone should be made up of a healthy balance of protein, carbs, and fat in the right amounts. Each has its own purpose and function, so unless directed specifically by a doctor no one macronutrient group should be neglected.
For protein I shoot for the bare minimum of.75g/pound to .82g/pound at most.That’s only 120-130 grams daily, which may come as a surprise because it’s far less than fitness resources generally recommend. But you really don’t need that much protein to sustain muscle anyways so anything else is basically overkill. This leaves plenty of room in my diet to fill up on carbs and fat, which are equally important to keeping test levels and physique healthy.
Eating more of what’s good for testosterone and less of what kills it:
- Eggs hold the #1 spot for testosterone boosting foods due to their fat and cholesterol content, healthy protein and amino acid profile, and vitamins and minerals such as selenium, choline, biotin, zinc, iron, and vitamin D.
- Red meat such as grassfed beef (not only the muscle meats but organs as well), lamb, bison, and other wild game meats are all chocked full of muscle building protein, vitamins and minerals especially the B vitamins and zinc, as well as testosterone promoting saturated and monounsaturated fats.
- NEVER use margarine for cooking or flavoring your food. The stuff is basically edible plastic and does absolutely nothing good for the body. Use coconut oil or grassfed butter/ghee instead. They’re flavorful and both full of test boosting saturated fat.
- Avocados are full of vitamins, minerals, and free radical and estrogen flushing glutathione, also known as the super antioxidant. Plus, they’re full of monounsaturated fats which are also pro-test.
- Potatoes are delicious and a great carb source for boosting the big T. They’re full of magnesium which is essential for healthy testosterone production and getting a good night’s sleep, which is another big factor in keeping those hormones healthy. Sweet potatoes and other starchy carbs such as white are pretty great for testosterone too.
- Remaining carbs should be made up of fruits and veggies! Veggies are full of vitamins and minerals, and aid in getting rid of estrogen. Fruit is pretty awesome too, also containing a lot of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
- Pomegranate juice. Good for your heart, great for your erections, and good for boosting test.
- Nuts and seeds are ok in moderation and all have their own unique health benefits, but can actually be counter productive if you’re looking to maintain high testosterone. Most of them are full of polyunsaturated fats, which are not good for the production of testosterone. I’d limit them to 1-2 days a week.
- When given the choice, always go organic and grassfed. Conventional meat is loaded with hormones and antibiotics while conventional produce is sprayed with pesticides and genetically altered which both will hurt your hormones.
- Avoid soy, vegetable oils, and processed foods like the plague! They’re no good for you or your hormones.
3. Hit the gym
If you’ve ever crushed a PR in the gym, checked out a strongman competition, or played an intense sport you’ll know that hard training and testosterone go hand in hand. Working out releases testosterone which in turn helps build strength and muscle mass as well as keeps you lean and mean(source). This is the reason why so many athletes and gym goers alike use a synthetic version of this powerful hormone to give themselves a boost on the weights and on the field. Training as a natural won’t have quite as strong of an effect as someone using drugs, but along with the right nutrition plan and lifestyle changes, it will certainly help in the fight to regain your manhood naturally.
There is however, a right way and a wrong way of training for high testosterone.
Training the right way for the big T:
- Workouts should be short and intense, with adequate rest in between sets. Around an hour is perfect. Any longer than that will cause a spike in cortisol which is no good for either testosterone gains or muscle and strength gains.
- Progressing on the big compound lifts such as shoulder pressing, benching, weighted pull ups and dips, squats, deadlifts, and olympic lifts such as the clean and press should be first priority. 3 sets of 5-10 reps is a good starting place for more than just increasing testosterone, but building up strength and mass as well.
- Don’t train to failure.
- Don’t forget about explosive bodyweight training! Christopher Walker, author of Testshock and the THOR Program, brought his total testosterone levels from 600 to well over 1000 just by mastering and implementing muscle ups into his routine!!
- Sprinting and HIIT are great ways to burn fat and increase testosterone.
- Long bouts of cardio, bro style pump chasing, high rep marathon workouts, or going too high on volume and frequency can actually be counter productive to increasing testosterone. If you go too hard for too long and enter a state of overtraining your body will enter into a high cortisol stressed state and actually cause your testosterone to decrease (see the stress section below). Note: Advice on overtraining and when to deload is a tough one, because everyone is different so the threshold of too much volume or frequency will vary from person to person.
4. Soak up the sunshine…
…or at least supplement with vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin.
If you look back at our original design back in Genesis, we were created to spend our time outside, naked and basking in the sunlight. This is a stark contrast to where we are today, working our lives away in front of computer screens or at a job. So it should come to no surprise that vitamin D deficiency is something that most of us deal with on a regular basis.
After blood work I found out that I’m pretty deficient in vitamin D, so I started supplementing with vitamin D3 drops to get my levels back to where they should be. Along with the other lifestyle and diet changes, I noticed a big difference in how I felt after taking it for a few weeks. Talk to a doctor and see if vitamin D supplementation is right for you.
5. Maintain a healthy sex life
Sex is a pretty wonderful thing. It’s one of the best feelings in the world, a natural stress reliever, helps you sleep better, improves immunity and heart health, improves libido (more=more), increases intimacy between husbands and wives, and the whole reason I’ve included it in this article… having sex more often will even increase testosterone levels in men. (source, source)
Now, I can’t with a good conscience promote going out and hooking up with every girl you meet for the sake of increased testosterone. I’ve said before that sleeping around isn’t all that cool anyways and a man’s self worth shouldn’t be determined by how many notches in his belt. But for all of my married brothers out there, be sure to keep active!! Not only will you and your special lady grow closer because of it, but you’ll also both be healthier overall. It’s a win/win 😉
And for all the single fellas out there, no, masturbation does not have the same effect (source). Your brain and body can tell the difference between the real deal and a practice round, and testosterone levels can actually drop from doing it. Instead, use all that pent up sexual energy as motivation to do something constructive.
Hard workouts, starting your own business, or perfecting your test boosting diet are all good things to focus on. Victory in any of these areas will give you a nice boost in testosterone as it is so not all is lost.
6. Ditch the dad bod
If you’re carrying around a bunch of excess body fat, drop it! Despite the increasing popularity of the so called “Dad bod” these days, being overweight is terrible for you.
It leads to a vast array of health problems including increased blood pressure, increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, along with potential liver and kidney problems(source).
It’s no wonder that on top of all that letting yourself go will have your hormones all messed up too. Too much fat on a man will cause a drop in testosterone, free testosterone, DHT, and even growth hormone. Excess body fat also holds on to the female hormone estrogen, which will cause all of the male hormones to drop even further(source).
The remedy? Eat less and move more! It’ll take time, hard work, and most importantly consistency, but don’t give up. Over time the excess fat will come off and you’ll start feeling better day by day. Never forget that getting into shape is about more than just looking good. Your health and hormones are at stake here so let that be your fuel to better yourself.
7. Stress free is the way to be
The impact of chronic stress on testosterone is huge. When put in a stressful situation, your body releases a hormone called cortisol which sends your body into fight or flight mode. Which is a great thing during an emergency when your survival depends on it! You get that momentary spike in cortisol, do what you have to to fix or get out of the situation, calm down and move forward with your life. Hormone levels return to normal as you calm down, and no real damage is done.
The problem is when your body is in that survival mode all of the time. Cortisol is constantly elevated, and even the most menial task can feel like the end of the world. An even bigger problem is the fact that so many people operate in this state of chronic stress all the time and don’t even realize it.
Overtime this leads to symptoms such as irritability, depression, anxiety, weight gain, increased risks of heart attacks and stroke, and even thoughts of suicide. And if that wasn’t enough, testosterone will take a big hit due to the constant elevation of cortisol!
So as hard as it can be do whatever it takes to stress less and live a happier life!!
A few simple tips for eliminating stress:
- Get enough sleep
- Don’t procrastinate
- Take a cold shower
- Chill out with music
- Have sex (see above)
- Hit the gym and break a sweat
- Take a deload week if you’ve been training hard and heavy for a long time
- Get outdoors
- Go for a walk
- Supplement with ashwagandha
- Don’t stress over the things that are out of your control
For more on stress be sure to check out my article “15 ways to stress less and live more.”
Thanks for the read! Be sure to share this article with a friend in need of a nice boost in the big T!! And check out my additional resources on boosting testosterone naturally below.